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MAGAZINE

OF FINANCE|

Global Economics International Politic Investement Focus Opera

Issue # 1 - Sept-Oct. 2012

SCIENCE Neil Alden Armstrong

POLITIC Obama, Romney

FOCUS China


Let yourself be seduced by The only way to

Sales Office:: info@sancarloasset.co.uk Sancarlo Tower, your space.


Sancarlo Tower, terribly fascinating.

the appeal of this city get rid of temptation is to give in to it. (O. Wilde)


OF OF Finance Magazine Free Indipendent Journal Dear Readers, “OF Finance magazine “ in this issue , which is number 1, offers the opportunity to read articles on several topics: • • • • • • • • • • • •

Economical impact of London Olympic Games; Interview to the singer Carlo Nodari in London, during his tour in South America; Euro and US Dollar International politics : Obama and Romney Panama : economy Algeria : brief notes Neil Armstrong Focus on Brazil Focus on Gold Focus on China Shipbuilding : history and economy (first part) Section on Opera Jewish Festivities (first part)

Hoping you will enjoy reading us and ………….If you want to keep your mind switched-on, read OF.

Patrizia Trombini

OF Finance - News Letter Sancarlo Asset Ltd (UK) Member of Grupo Sancarlo 145 - 157 St John Street EC1V 4PY London (UK) Reg. of Companie Number 284673 Vat code GB983016026 info@sancarloasset.co.uk

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SCIENCE Tomato Genome

Contemporary Art Juri Corti

Special luxury Canados Open 90

Issue # 1 - Sept-Oct. 2012

SCIENCE Neil Alden Armstrong

POLITIC Obama, Romney

FOCUS China

The Greek economic crisis: Victim

Suez and/or Panama Canal?

MAGAZINE

Issue # 0 - August 2012

Investement Focus Opera

OF FINANCE|

MAGAZINE

OF FINANCE|

Investement Focus Opera

Brasil Invest Opportunity

OF EDITORIAL ON FINANCE Free Indipendent Journal

EDITOR CHIEF Patrizia Trombini EDITORIAL MANAGER Martino Zontini EDITORIAL DEPARTMENT Giorgio Perna

CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Patrizia Trombini Giorgio Perna Martino Zontini Giovanni Giiuseppe Sparaco Francesco Colucci Caterina Garofalo Natalicio Fonseca dos Santos Rose Mary de Oliveira Santos Almeida Mirko di Veroli GRAPHIC DEPARTMENT Giovanni Giuseppe Sparaco Photos: cloud_lady.

PUBLISHER press@ofjournal.com

Of information The articles we would like you to read will be written by journalists/nonjournalists, independent minds, free opinionists, specialists in different sectors expressing their ideas and opinions and for this reason they are the only persons responsible for their writing as well as for the pictures or illustrative materials they add to their articles.

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WEBSITE www.gruposancarlo.com


summary !

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dollar?

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politic Festivities

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summary

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ! 34 ! Brasil 38 !China! 43 !gold 47 !Power! 54 !art mude !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 57 !Opera

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GLOBAL ECONOMICS

OLYMPIAD LONDON 2012

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Capitalize On Euphoria Yet one thing is clear - the government expects a return on its £9bnAs the Olympics are over, it is time plus investment, both from a shortterm cash injection during the Games for a complete analysis of the real and from an economic legacy that impact the games had on the United will, it hopes, be felt for many years Kingdom. to come. Bearer of hopes, the games have been seen by many as a great oppor- ust how significant a boost the Gatunity to move forwards despite the mes gives to the UK's flatlining ecoglobal crisis. Politicians saw an op- nomy remains to be seen. portunity to rebuild the social link in a nation that just a few months ago had Initially at least, organisers' efforts to prevent bedlam in the centre of Lonto endure devastating and yet reveadon seem to have been over-zealing riots while companies were lous, with a number of smaller retaiobviously after the immense sums of lers bemoaning a lack of shoppers. cash supposedly injected in the economy by such a greater-than-life However, larger retailers appear to event.

have fared better - a survey by consultancy Deloitte suggests more saw

But as the games are preparing to an increase in demand than saw a move on, who has been the real win- fall, while more recent data suggests shopper numbers picked up across ner ? the board during the second week of the Games. Measuring the sporting success of London 2012 is easy - a quick glance at the medals table tells us unequivocally that this has been the most successful Olympic games for Britain in more than a century.

He expects a small increase in consumer and government spending during the Games to boost the UK's GDP between July and September by 0.2%. Add in the impact of Olympic ticket sales, which will be recor-

But measuring its success outside the sporting arena is a little more tricky.

ded in the third quarter, and the overall boost to the economy from the Olympic games during the period will be 0.3%, he estimates.

Not only, of course, is it too early to draw any meaningful conclusions, but

But what of the longer-term legacy, a there are no easy yardsticks to judge key part of the bidding process that against.

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GLOBAL ECONOMICS


helped win the Games in the first pla- "There is a feeling in Sydney and ce?

however, and £13bn is quite some

Athens that they they failed to fully target for an economic legacy that capitalise on the Games," says Heat- has failed to materialise in most other

Public sector funding for the Games her Hancock, lead London 2012 part- Olympic host nations. stands at £9.3bn, with some reports ner at consultancy Deloitte, which is a suggesting the final total could be sponsor of London 2012.

It will be years before we know whet-

double that. In public at least, the go-

her UK plc will get its money back, let

vernment is satisfied this will prove For example, the government is alone make a profit on the Games, money well spent.

spending £125m on Britain's biggest but most economists agree major tourist campaign to date - GREAT - sporting events rarely bring lasting

"I'm confident that we can derive over targeting 14 of the world's great cities financial reward. £13bn of benefit to the UK economy with the aim of bringing an additional over the next four years as a result of 4.6 million visitors to the UK and crea- The government will have its work cut out to buck the trend. hosting these Games," said Prime ting 70,000 jobs. Minister David Cameron at the beginning of July.

The campaign is looking to capitalise on what has been a two-week long

That is a tall order and one that, jud- advertisement for London. ging by previous games, will be hard to meet.

"Billions have watched [the city] looking fabulous and this can only be a

This includes £6bn of investment from positive thing that must translate into overseas, £4bn of contracts for UK more visitors next summer," says Jufirms and £2.3bn of revenue from an stin Zatouroff, head of leisure at conupsurge in tourism.

sultancy KPMG.

According to research into the past 10 The government is also determined to Olympics by Citibank, the major eco- continue pushing for inward innomic benefits of holding the Games vestment to build on the goodwill felt are realised before they begin, largely towards the UK generated by the due to the massive spending on infra- Games. structure such as building sporting venues

As Ms Hancock says: "The Games showcased the capabilities of the UK

But some argue that lessons have - how well they were organised and been learned from others' mistakes - the quality and timeliness of the vethat the need to follow through on nues. They broadened the perception Olympic commitments has been no- of what the UK can do." ted. The window of opportunity is short,

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@ Martino Zontini


GLOBAL ECONOMICS

EURO - DOLLAR? SO the sluggish global economy has once more caused central banks to act, first with last week's ECB bond-buying programme and now with the Fed's third round of quantitative easing. Here is the take of my Washington colleague. But I think it's worth pausing to reflect on the way the new financial order is shaping up. First. it's clear that central banks will be huge players in the asset markets for the foreseeable future. The Fed is buying mortgage bonds, not Treasuries, this time but both the ECB and the Bank of England are still in the bond-buying business. All suggest that in the long run they will unwind these purchases, either by selling the bonds or by not buying them when they mature (the effect is the same; the private sector will have to pick up the slack). But clearly we are nowhere near the point at which these programmes can be reversed and unless the economy does become a lot stronger, it is hard to see how they can be. So when we talk about the "market reaction" to economic news, we need to be clear that bond prices are not set in a free market; they are set, in large part, by a huge non-profit maximising public sector buyer.

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Second, nominal interest rates are going to be at historic lows for the foreseeable future as well; the Fed extended its outlook from 2014 to 2015. If you are a cautious saver, you will get a low nominal (and probably a negative real) return. If you are a retiree forced to buy an annuity or a pension fund hedging its liability with government bonds, you will need a much bigger pool of savings to meet your chosen retirement income target. The idea, in part, is to force investors to take more risk; that is one reason why the equity market reacted so well yesterday. But as Ruchir Sharma pointed out in the FT earlier this week, higher equity prices help the rich (the top 10% of Americans own 75% of stocks) while QE also seems to boost commodity prices which hurts the poor. Tim Lee of pi Economics makes some interesting points in a note on low interest rates, to wit that twenty years of asymmetric policy towards asset markets by the Fed has culminated in the present extreme moral hazard, which leads investors to believe that the Fed always stands behind them. The result of this moral hazard is that asset prices remain artificially elevated and the resulting high level of personal wealth encourages a low savings rate. Since savings are necessary for long-term economic growth, the result of this policy has been to undermine the trend growth rate. Or, to turn it round, low real interest rates are a sign that the economic outlook is poor, something the equity bulls ought to reflect on. In my view, while Mr Lee is right that the household savings rate is too low, he fails to mention that the corporate sector have been hoarding cash and not investing, one reason why the government has been forced into deficit. But, of course, corporates aren't investing because they are worried about the growth outlook. Governments could invest in infrastructure to offset their reluctance, especially the US with its low funding rate, but there is no sign that Congress will let that happen. So it is hardly surprising that the Fed felt forced to act; monetary policy is offsetting fiscal policy. But will low lending rates encourage the banks to lend to job-creating businesses, or will the money leak into more speculative projects, like real estate development? And what does this mean for the Fed's political position?

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GLOBAL ECONOMICS


Easing policy just a few weeks ahead of an election will only bolster the

GLOBAL ECONOMICS

anger of Republicans towards Mr Bernanke. Perhaps they will change their mind if Romney wins and the stimulus starts to help their guy. But perhaps the remit of the Fed will come under review. Central banks were granted much greater independence in the 1980s and 1990s because the politicians realised that was the only way to combat inflation. The boom that resulted made a (temporary) secular saint out of Alan Greenspan; both parties basked in his reflective glory. But can central banks operate with such freedom when their role is so politically controversial? It is a question that faces the ECB as well as the Fed, and it could be one of the big constitutional battles of the coming years. @ Martino Zontini

Photo> click

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GLOBAL ECONOMICS

PANAMA’

Skyline Panama’

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GLOBAL ECONOMICS

Panamà; With the $5.2bn expansion of the Panama Canal, a new metro and airports under construction, along with a raft of luxury hotels, Panama’s 3.5m population can hardly satisfy demands on the nation’s workforce. And now it’s official. Panama is the number one hotspot for jobs in the Americas. The most recent survey by Manpower shows that Panama has a 26 per cent net trend towards job

United States. But something appears to be going rather wrong in Argentina, where it won the wooden spoon with a net trend of a mere 3 per cent. Companies in Panama have for several years complained about a serious shortage of skilled and professional labour. The answer has been large-scale imports of expatriates. Some countries in Central America receive billions of dollars in remittances from their emigrants to the United States and Europe.

creation – the percentage of companies that aim to hire people in the fourth quarter subtracted by those who aim to lay off personnel. Perhaps surprisingly for a country whose economy has accumulated many negative headlines in recent months, Brazilian companies also showed a strong – though diminished – tendency to hire in the fourth quarter. Brazil’s net trend came in at 23 per cent to take second place in the survey. The others included Peru with 23 per cent, Colombia 19 per cent, Costa Rica 18, Mexico 17 and Guatemala 14 per cent. Canada came in at 9 per cent, one point ahead of the

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In Panama, the flow is in the opposite direction. Panama sends hundreds of millions of dollars in remittances sent overseas from its foreign legion of engineers, accountants and hoteliers @ Martino Zontini


GLOBAL ECONOMICS

Algeria, a beautiful, fascinting and rich country

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Algeria is a beautiful, fascinating and a rich country. I visited Algeria, and in particular all the towns on the Mediterranean cost from Oran, the nearest town to the border with Morocco, to Annaba near the border to Tunisia, (going through Mostaganem, Algiers, Bejaia, Skikda) about four years ago. I had the pleasure to visit this part of the country with a friend that is Algerian (even if he always want to point out that he is a Berber). Algeria is the largest country in the African continent, is bordered on the west by Morocco and Western Sahara and on the east by Tunisia and Libya. The Mediterranean Sea is to the north, and to the south are Mauritania, Mali, and Niger. The Saharan region, which is 85% of the country, is almost completely uninhabited. I was quite curious about “Berber”, so I make very brief researches to try to know a bit more about this topic and I found out that the history of Algeria is entwined with history of Berbers and it developed in that fertile part of North Africa, which is often called “Maghreb” that was used as a transit region for people that wanted to move towards Europe and Middle East, therefore its inhabitants were influenced by different cultures and out of this mix developed the Berber people, whose language and culture dominated most of the land until the spread of Islam and the arrival of the Arabs. The earliest recorded inhabitants of Algeria were Berber-speaking peoples who by the 2d millennium B.C. were living in small village-based political units. The first Algerian kingdom was established by the Berber head of a tribe named Massinissa, between the 3rd and 2nd centuries BC, during the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage. Massinissa was the first king of Numidia from 202-148BC and his dynasty lasted until 106 BC when his grandson Jugurtha became a Roman client. As part of the Roman Empire Numidia flourished, becoming known as the 'granary of Rome'. A road system and a series of Roman garrisons which became small Roman cities were built during the Roman period. With Roman help, he united the tribes and founded the kingdom. He is most famous for his role as a Roman ally in the Battle of Zama (202 BC) in Ancient Algeria which ended the war and as husband of Sophonisba (a Carthaginian noblewoman that poisoned

herself to avoid being paraded in a triumph in Rome). The highest point of Berber civilization was reached during the reign of Massinissa in the second century BC. After Massinissa's death in 148 BC, the Berber kingdoms split and clustered several times. Massinissa's line survived until 24 AD, when the remaining Berber territory was annexed to the Roman Empire for two centuries. Algeria was invaded by the Vandals in the 5th century who occupied the country for a hundred years before being driven out by the Emperor Justinian's Byzantine army. It was Justinian's aim to restore the Holy Roman Empire but the spread of Islam and the Arab conquest of North Africa during the 7th century hindered the expansion of Byzantium and permanently changed the character of North Africa. When Muslim Arabs arrived in Algeria in the middle of the 7th century, a large number of locals converted to the new faith. The Arab invasion was not without resistance, but eventually the inhabitants surrendered and quickly embraced Islam, creating in the 8th century their own Islamic government. Algeria became part of the powerful Arabo-Berber empires, which dominated the Magreb and Andalusia. During this period Algerian seaports like Algiers, Annaba and Bejaia thrived on trade with European markets. The Berbers had the control on much of the Maghreb region in the Middle Ages. They were made up of several tribes and all these tribes were completely independent. Several Berber dynasties emerged during the Middle Ages in Maghreb, Sudan, Andalusia, Italy, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Egypt, and other nearby lands. With the decline of the local Berber dynasties in the 15th and 16th centuries, the important strip of land near the sea of north Africa (known because of the Berbers as the Barbary coast) attracts the attention of the two most powerful Mediterranean states of the time - Spain in the west, Turkey in the east. The Spanish-Turkish rivalry lasts for much of the 16th century, at the end it was won by the Turks. They used a successful device in allowing Turkish pirates, or corsairs, to establish themselves along the coast. The territories seized by the corsairs were given a formal status as protectorates of the Ottoman empire. The first was established on the coast of Algeria in 1512, others were based in Libya by

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1551, Tunisia was taken in 1534 by the most famous corsair of them all, Khair ed-Din (known to the Europeans as Barbarossa). Piracy was considered the main purpose and source of income of all these Turkish settlements along the Barbary coast. And, it is stated by the French that their intervention, at that time was due, after three centuries, to the depredations of piracy. The French Colonization lasted from 1830 to 1962, when in March a cease fire was negotiated between the French government and the FLN and De Gaulle's referendum was held in July 5th. The Algerian people spoke with a single voice. They voted for independence and the majority of the French after the referendum left Algeria. As we can see the most significant forces in Algerian history the spread of Islam, Arabization, Ottoman and French colonization and the war for independence. Berbers once constituted the chief ethnic group in Algeria, but have been largely assimilated into Arab culture. The Berbers, beginning in the late 7th century A.D., adopted the Arabic language and Islam from the small number of Arabs who settled in the country. Today those of Arab-Berber descent make up some 99% of the population. Arabic is the main language, although about 15% of the population still speaks a Berber language. These inhabitants live mostly in the mountainous regions of the north, but also include the nomadic Tuareg of the Sahara. Relations between Arabicspeaking and Berber-speaking Algerians have long been marked by tension. Arabic was made the sole national language in 1980, but that policy was reversed in 2002, when Tamazight, a Berber tongue, was also recognized as a national language. French is widely spoken, and about 1% of the Algerian population is of European descent (before independence Europeans accounted for some 10%). Almost all Algerians are adherents of the Sunni Muslim faith, the state religion.

Photo : Algeria


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SANCARLO TOWER, terribly fascinating! !!!!"#$%#&'(!)(*+&,!-#$#.# !!!/00123!435!"673 8!-#$(&#.9%!!(:%+;! 8!<++=$>!&((. 8!?+;@#A&#$@ 8!B#&#>+! 8!2(..+&%9#'!&((.;! 8 C+;D!E((& 2($@#%@F! 9$G(H;#$%#&'(#;;+@I%(IAD

Sancarlo Tower is located in Via Espana, which is the most important street of Panama, in the heart of the financial center of the city. The airport is 25 minutes away by car, the Panama Canal can be reached in 15 minutes, Punta Pacifica and the Donald Trumph Tower in 10minutes. From the tower in few minutes you can find : Mariott Hotel. Otel & Casinò Veneto, The Global Bank, Scotland Bank, HSBC, Tower bank, Generali Insurance etc. The underground, which is under costruction, is only 200 meters away from the tower.

Sancarlo Tower, Your space.


Algeria is one of the richest African country, as it has all kind of natural resources such as : gas, oil, phosphate, uranium, diamonds, water. It is one of the few country in which gross domestic product, the so called GDP keeps increasing every year. The richness coming from the steady increase of the prices and of the exported quantities of hydrocarbon products , which are the 98% of all the Algerian exportations, has allowed a general improvement economic basics in Algeria The Sahara desert covers more than four-fifths of the land. About 15% of Algeria's workers are engaged in farming, which is concentrated in the fertile valleys and basins of the north and in the oases of the Sahara. The principal crops are wheat, barley, oats, wine grapes, olives, citrus, figs, and dates. Algeria is also an important producer of cork. Large numbers of sheep, poultry, goats, and cattle are raised, and there is a small fishing industry. The state plays a leading role in planning the economy and owns many important industrial concerns, including the mining and financial sectors. Since the late 1990s, there has been some privatization and openness to foreign investment. The most important mineral resources are petroleum and natural gas that are found in the Sahara and there are oil pipelines to the seaports of Arzew and Bejaia. Other minerals extracted in significant quantities include iron ore, phosphates, uranium, lead, and zinc. The country's leading industries include food and beverage processing, (notably olive oil and wine), petrochemicals, and light manufacturing. Algeria's limited rail and road networks serve mainly the northern region. The principal exports besides petroleum and natural gas are wine and agricultural goods (especially fruit). Algeria can be divided into two main geographical areas, the northern region and the much larger Saharan or southern region, most Algerians live along the northern coast of Mediterranean sea. The main cities in addition to Algiers, which is Algeria’s capital, that will not be taken into account in this article, are Oran, Mostaganem, Bejaia, Skikda and Annaba; as a matter of fact all these towns are on the Mediterranean coast and are important sea ports.

Oran, lies along an open bay on the Mediterranean Sea coast, at the point where Algeria is very near to Spain and it is the nation’s second largest port after Algiers and is one of the most important port and since the 1960s has been the commercial, industrial, and educational centre of western Algeria. It was founded at the beginning of the 10th century by Andalusian merchants as a base for trade with North African hinterland. In Oran you can see all its history and mix of culture and tradition as well as influences (Spanish, Arab, Turkish and French) it underwent during the past centuries. The modern part of Oran in divided into two parts, one in front of the port while the old and new sections occupy terraces above the waterfront, previously they were divided by a ravine, which is now built over. It is possible to visit the old SpanishArab-Turkish city, called La Blanca at the west side of the ravine on a hill. The newer city, called La Ville Nouvelle and built by the French after 1831, occupies the terraces on the east bank of the ravine. La Blanca is crowned by the Turkish citadel of Santa Cruz, which was subsequently modified by the Spanish and French. The Spanish quarter, with its narrow streets, contains the former Cathedral of Saint-Louis (rebuilt by the French in 1838), the Porte de Canastel (reconstructed in 1734), and the fountain in the Place Emerat (1789). In the Turkish part of the old town is the Great Mosque built in 1796 with money obtained by ransoming Spanish captives. Leaving Oran and driving along the Mediterranean coast for about 70 km you reach Mostaganem, which is a port city in the northwest part of Algeria, used for unloading of all sorts of cargo, ranging from provisions to cars and pipelines. The city was founded in the 11th century and its origins go back to Punic and Roman times, when it had the name of Cartenna. In 1516 it was captured by the famous Ottoman Barbarossa and became a centre for Mediterranean sea corsairs, as well as a commercial port. The city is divided in two by a ravine of the river Aïn Sefra, with the modern town to southwest, and the old Muslim city, Tidgit, to the northeast. From the eastern side of Algiers, driving in direction of the border to Tunisia, after several hours of driving on narrow and dangerous roads (the way the Algerians drive will be in case of

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interest a topic of discussion!) but with a beautiful and not boring landscape, Bejaia was reached. Béjaïa, is a Mediterranean port city on the Gulf with the same name; it is the capital of Béjaïa Province, Kabylia, it is is the largest city in Kabylia (second largest is Tizi Ouzou), and one of the largest principally Berber speaking cities. One of the most beautiful and fascinating site is the mountain Yemma Gouraya, it is said that its profile resemble a sleeping woman, which overlooks the town with a wordless landscape. From an economic point of view Bejaia is the northern end part of the Hassi Messaoud oil pipeline from Sahara, infact it is the main oil port of Western Mediterranean sea. Apart from of crude oil, export regard iron, phosphates , and agricultural products such as wine, plums, dried figs. Leaving Bejaia after about 160 km you reach Skikda, a city in the north eastern Algeria and a port on the Gulf of Stora. It was known as Philippeville until the end of the Algerian War of Independence in 1962. Skikda has the third largest commercial port in Algeria after Algiers and Oran. It has Natural Gas, oil refining and petrochemical industries. Only about 80 Km is the distance between Skikda and Annaba. It is a city in the northeastern corner of Algeria on the Mediterranean Sea, near the Tunisian border, it is the fourth largest city and one of the leading ports. Annaba is also a main administrative, commercial and industrial center. The main industry is El hadjar steelworks, which was built with French and Soviet financial and technical aid. Annaba was founded by the Phoenicians, the city became a favorite residence of the Numidian kings. Under the Romans, it was called Hippo Regius and was a center of early Christianity. Two important landmarks are the Great Mosque and the Cathedral of St. Augustine. In this article I have tried to make a brief overlook on few aspects of Algeria: its natural beauty, from a panoramic viewpoint, you can see many colours, different landscapes: sea, mountains, desert, plain, hills and sometimes all together; its fascination and its natural richness. @ Patrizia Trombini


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POLITIC

POLITIC

The attacks are a troubling turn of

US - REPUBLICAN challenger Mitt Romney must have thought he had

events for Mr Obama, as he faces reelection on Nov 6.

been handed a golden opportunity to criticise United States President Barack Obama on his handling of the Arab Spring when news of attacks on American consulates in Libya and Egypt broke.

Certainly, the unfolding events put a focus on the instabilities and extremist forces that have been unleashed in the region, and will change how Americans view the Arab Spring uprisings that toppled dictators in Libya,

His comments late on Tuesday expressed outrage at a statement by

Egypt and other countries in the region.

the US embassy in Egypt which "sympathised with those who waged the attacks". He also called it an "apology" for American values that was "disgraceful".

It casts doubt on Mr Obama's strategy in Libya where the US took the backseat, but helped an initially ragtag crew of rebels to topple Colonel Muammar Gaddafi.

But, as various reports yesterday pointed out, the statement he was referring to was issued before the protests turned violent, and was not approved by Washington.

Mr Stevens himself helped bring together Libya's disparate rebel and opposition groups to form a cohesive force that became Libya's current government.

He was also not entirely accurate in characterising the statement, which said the embassy "condemns the continuing efforts by misguided individuals to hurt the religious feelings of Muslims - as we condemn efforts to offend believers of all religions".

As it became clear that a much-respected diplomat, ambassador Christopher Stevens, had died in Benghazi, along with three other consula-

The death of an American ambassador on the date, Sept 11, is also a fresh and stark reminder of the war on terror to US citizens who have grown inured to news of deaths and drone attacks in Afghanistan.

However, as Republican leaders sought to distance themselves from Mr Romney's attack and the Obama Mitt

te staff, the tables turned on Mr Romney, whose hasty comments

Romney by Gage

seem aimed at gaining political Skidmore

points.

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campaign derided Mr Romney's misjudgment, somehow, Mr Romney came out of the crisis looking worse than a rival bruised by a lacklustre economy at home and crisis abroad.

"There's a broader lesson to be learnt here: Governor Romney seems to have a tendency to shoot first and aim later," Mr Obama said in an interview with CBS.

Other Republican leaders expressed more measured sentiments on the attacks.

Mr Dick Lugar, the most senior Republican member of the Senate, said: "US leaders should unite in redoubling our efforts in the Maghreb and the Middle East, practising the kind of stout diplomacy exemplified by ambassador Stevens."

While Mr Obama has to deal with the fallout of the attacks, the renewed interest in foreign policy this election may not turn out well for the inexperienced Mr Romney.

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POLITIC


SCIENCE

Neil Alden Armstrong and his immortal words : “That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind”

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SCIENCE

Neil Alden Armstrong and his immortal words : ‘That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.’ It was the first man to walk on the moon in 1969 and now he has left the world. Neil Armstrong died in Cincinnati, in Ohio, on 25th August 2012, at the age of 82, suffering complications due to a recent heart surgery. President Obama made a statement from the White House : “Neil was among the greatest of American heroes – not just of his time, but of all time” and added that he with his crewmates “set out to show the world that the American spirit can see beyond what seems unimaginable – that with enough drive and ingenuity, anything is possible.” He was an American astronaut and aviator, before becoming astronaut, Armstrong was a navy officer in the United States Navy and took part in the Korean War, serving His nation proudly as a navy fighter pilot. After the war he worked as test pilot at the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics, where he carried out more than 900 flights. He graduated at Purdue University and then he completed his studies at the University of Southern California. He also found success when he got back home in Ohio in business and academia and became a community leader in Cincinnati.

Photo: Wikipedia

His first space flight was made as command pilot of Gemini 8 and was the first civilian astronaut. On this mission together with the pilot David Scott he manage to perform the first docking with two spacecraft. Many test pilots praised Armstrong’s engineering ability. Milt Thompson used to say that: “Neil was the most technically capable of the early X-15 pilots”; according to Bill Dana, Armstrong “had a mind that absorbed things like a sponge”.

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On the 13th September 1962 Donald Kent Slayton asked Armstrong whether he would be interested in joining the NASA astronaut Corps, that the press used to rename “New Nine” and Armstrong without hesitation accepted.

SCIENCE

On July 20th 1969, half a billion people watching the white and black television saw the image of Neil Armstrong while backing down the ladder of the lunar landing ship Eagle put his left foot on the moon surface and said the famous words : “ That’s one small step for (a) man, one giant leap for mankind.” Neil Armstrong with his life has given proof that the Homo Sapiens has managed to go beyond the environment where he has lived and has grown up over 200.000 years. No other man has managed to set a foot on a celestial body. The so called “space conquest”, that reached its climax with Armstrong’s small step, has represented a transitional phase in human ecology, but not because the man has really began the colonization of other planets, natural satellites, comets or any other outer space object. The landing on the moon took place in a context, perhaps unique, of absolute competition, which was not only technological, but also and above all it was a military and ideological competition between United States and Soviet Union. A competition that could not be settled with a war, that would not have had any winner, a war that was to be settled with “other means”. The space was an elective place for this competition. As soon as the highest aim was reached, the landing on the moon, the human space exploration has lost, as a matter of fact, its centrality. It is not accident that Nixon, already in 1970, changed the frontier of the technological challenge, declaring war on “Cancer”. The conquest of space has represented a transitional phase in human ecology for several reasons. The first was conveyed clearly by Armstrong’s consideration regarding fragility of the earth (he compared the earth to an white and blue orange) he could see from the moon while rising and setting. Neil, a lot of his colleagues with us, 43 years ago had this experience, observing, for the first time in the man history, the earth from far away. It was an experience similar but opposite to the one Galileo had, when 400 years ago had pointed the telescope from the earth at the sky. Now Armstrong and the video cameras pointed their eyes from the sky at the earth and we could see this view in live recording. Perhaps in that moment we have acquired a new ecological awareness, millions of people “have seen” and then have interiorized how small and therefore fragile seems the Earth compared to what some months later, in 1970, was defined by the biologist Jacques Monod, ”The indifferent immensity of the cosmos”. But the space has other important ecological impact. Thanks to the great number of satellites that have been put into orbit around the earth as well as with the several space probes launched in the deep space, we have managed to observe the earth, studying it from a scientific point of view. We have acquired a great quantity of knowledge about our planet, that is really inestimable. For instance it is from the space that we have picked out “ozone hole” and we have gathered the most important data on the climate changes, that have been caused by man. It is also with the help of satellites that the ecologists can study the ecosystems or detect the “hot spot” of biodiversity.

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Neil Alden Armstrong (Wapakoneta, 5 august 1930 – Cincinnati, 25 august 2012


SCIENCE

They are the satellites that help the geologists to understand the deep mechanisms of the earth dynamics. Shortly, there is no any science dealing with earth that can do without the space observation, so that we could consider the “knowledge of Earth planet” as the main scientific goal achieved in these sixty years of space observation. Lynn Margulis, the famous theorist of symbiosis, maintained that Armstrong and his colleagues were nothing else but the mean used by other powerful living beings, the bacteria, so as to get out of their small planet and colonize the cosmos. Lynn Margulis used to point out regarding the famous Armstrong’s words (one small step for a man, one giant step for mankind) when he stepped on the moon that “ he overlooked vast numbers of bacteria on his skin and in his intestine that stepped with him.” The small step of Armstrong would have been a big step also for the bacteria. We would have never imagined that in this expansion effort, the instrument, more or less aware, used by bacteria, the man, would have created a new environment where to live. Possibly but not necessarily better. This article on Neil Armstrong will be ended with the words stated after his death. His family describing Armstrong stated that : “He was also a reluctant American hero who always believed he was just doing his job.” “…..he served his nation proudly, as a navy fighter pilot, test pilot, and astronaut. He remained and advocate of aviation and exploration throughout his life and never lost his boyhood wonder of these pursuits. While we mourn the loss of a very good man, we also celebrate his remarkable life and hope that it serves as an example to young people around the world to work hard to make their dreams come true, to be willing to explore and push the limits, and to selflessly serve a cause greater than themselves. For those who may ask what they can do to honor Neil , we have a simple request. Honor his example of service, accomplishment and modesty, and the next time you walk outside on a clear night and see the moon smiling down at you, think of Neil Armstrong and give him a wink." Charles Bolden, NASA Administrator made the following statement regarding the death of Armstrong : “…….. As long as there are history books, Neil Armstrong will be included in them, remembered for taking humankind’s first small step on a world beyond our own, but it was the courage, grace, and humanity he displayed throughout his life that lifted him above the stars.” Neil Armstrong was cremated and on September 14, 2012 and his ashes were scattered in the Atlantic Ocean during a burial at sea ceremony aboard the guided missile cruiser USS Philippine Sea.

@ Giovanni Giuseppe Sparaco

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Jewish Festivities

FESTIVITIES

The Jewish calendar is full of festivals and special days, it is a varied collection of celebrations either commemorating an important event in Jewish history or celebrating a certain time of year. All Jewish holidays begin at sunset, since that is when the Jewish "day" starts, therefore the holiday day extends from sunset of the evening of the day before until dusk on the next one. Some festivities were induced by a potential peril that the Jews escaped, such as Purim and Hanukkah, while others are celebrated every year to remind that God never ceases to protect his people (Passover and Sukkot); other festivities are celebrated for spiritual reason. Here below we will try to explain and describe the most important Jewish festivities, their meaning, their tradition and their custom. Rosh HaShana, (sunset 16, 2012 – nightfall September 18, 2012) means “head of the New Year” in Hebrew and it is observed on the first two days of Tishrei, which is the seventh month on Hebrew calendar; it is commonly known as the Jewish New Year. The Hebrew calendar begins with the month of Nissan (when it's believed the Jews were freed from slavery in Egypt) but the month of Tishrei is believed to be the month in which God created the world. Hence, another way to think about Rosh HaShanah is as the birthday of the world, it is the anniversary of the creation of Adam and Eve, the first man and the first woman and their first actions towards the realization of mankind’s role in God’s world. Rosh Hashanah is not mentioned in the Torah, which is Judaism’s founding religious text, and appears under different names in the Bible. Though the holiday was likely well established by the sixth century B.C., the phrase “Rosh Hashanah” shows up for the first time in the Mishna, a Jewish code of law compiled in 200 A.D. Jewish tradition teaches that during the High Holy Days, God has to de-

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cide who will live and who will die during the coming year. As a result, during Rosh HaShanah and Yom Kippur (and in the days leading up to them) Jews undertake the serious task of examining their lives and repenting for any wrongs they have committed during the previous year. In this way, Rosh HaShanah is all about making peace in the community and striving to be a better person. Even though the theme of Rosh HaShanah is life and death, it is a holiday filled with hope for the New Year. Jews believe that God is compassionate and just, and that God will accept their prayers for forgiveness. One of the most important observance of this holiday is hearing the sounding of the shofar, a ram's horn that is blown somewhat like a trumpet, in the Synagogue. It is an essential and emblematic part of both Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. .A total of 100 notes are sounded each day. The plaintive cry of this ancient instrument serves as a call to repentance and a reminder to Jews that God is their king. Tradition requires the shofar blower to play four sets of notes on Rosh Hashanah: tekiah, a long blast; shevarim, three short blasts; teruah, nine staccato blasts; and tekiah gedolah, a very long blast. On Rosh Hashanah no work is permitted and the most part of the day is spent in the synagogue. As the High Holy Day prayer services include distinct liturgical texts, songs and customs, rabbis and their congregations read from a special prayer book known as the machzor, that is used both during Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur. After religious services are over, many Jews return home for a festive meal steeped in symbolism and tradition. Some choose to wear new or special clothing and to adorn their tables with fine linens and place settings in recognition of Rosh Hashanah’s significance. The meal typically begins with the ceremonial lighting of two candles and features foods that represent positive wishes for the new year.


Yom Kippur, (26 September 2012) means Day of Atonement, is one of the two Jewish High Holy Days. Yom Kippur is Judaism’s most sacred day of the year; it is sometimes referred to as the “Sabbath of Sabbaths.” Even the Jews, who do not observe any other Jewish custom, will not work, will fasten and attend Synagogue services. It falls ten days after Rosh Hashanah on the 10th of Tishri, that links September and October on a secular calendar. It is a day set aside to "afflict the soul," to atone for the sins of the past year and its purpose is foster reconciliation among people and between people and God. According to Jewish tradition, it is also the day when God decides the fate of each human being. There are three essential components of Yom Kippur : Teshuvah (Repentance), Prayer, Fasting. Teshuvah (repentance): This feast is a day of reconciliation . The ten days leading up to Yom Kippur are known as the Ten Days of Repentance. During this period Jews are encouraged to find anyone they may have offended and ask them for forgiveness. If the first request for forgiveness is rejected, one should ask at least two more times, at which point the person whose forgiveness is being sought should grant the request. The rabbis thought it was cruel for anyone to withhold their forgiveness for offenses that had not caused irrevocable damage. This process of repentance is called Teshuvah and it is an essential part of Yom Kippur. Prayer: Yom Kippur is the longest synagogue service in the Jewish year. It begins on the evening before Yom Kippur day with a haunting song, whose words ask God to forgive any vows people have made to God and not kept. The service on the day of Yom Kippur lasts from morning until nightfall. During the afternoon portion of the Yom Kippur service the Book of Jonah is read to remind people of God’s willingness to forgive those who are sincerely sorry.

The last part of the service is called Ne’ilah (Shutting). The name comes from the imagery of Ne’ilah prayers, which talk about gates being shut against us. People pray intensely during this time, hoping to be admitted to God’s presence before the gates have been shut. Fasting: Yom Kippur is also characterized by 25 hours of fasting. There are other fast days in the Jewish calendar, but this is the only one the Torah specifically commands to observe, during this time no food or liquid (even water) may be consumed. The fast starts an hour before Yom Kippur begins and ends after nightfall on the day of Yom Kippur. In addition to food, Jews are also forbidden from engaging in sexual relations, bathing, using cosmetics or wearing leather shoes. The prohibition against wearing leather comes from a reluctance to wear the skin of a slaughtered animal while asking God for mercy. However, children, under the age of nine, pregnant women, women who have recently given birth and anyone suffering from a life-threatening illness are not required to observe the fast. These people need food and drink to keep up their strength and Judaism always values life above the observance of Jewish law.

made atonement and asked for God’s forgiveness on behalf of all the people of Israel. The tradition is said to have continued until the destruction of the Second Temple by the Romans in 70 A.D; it was then adapted into a service for rabbis and their congregations in individual synagogues. Traditions and symbols in this feast are : Pre-Yom Kippur feast: On the eve of Yom Kippur, families and friends meet for an abundant feast that must be finished before sunset. The idea is to gather strength for 25 hours of fasting. Breaking of the fast: After the final Yom Kippur service, many people return home for a festive meal. It traditionally consists of breakfast-like comfort foods such as blintzes, noodle pudding and baked goods. Wearing white: It is customary for religious Jews to dress in white—a symbol of purity—on Yom Kippur. Some married men wear kittels, which are white burial shrouds, to signify repentance.

Charity: Some Jews make donations or volunteer their time in the days leading up to Yom Kippur. This is seen as a way to make amend and seek God’s forgiveness. One ancient custom known as kapparot involves swinging a live chicken or bundle of According to tradition, the first Yom coins over one’s head while reciting a Kippur took place after the Israelites’ prayer. The chicken or money is then exodus from Egypt and arrival at Mo- given to the poor. unt Sinai, where God gave Moses the Ten Commandments. Descending Sukkot, (sunset October 7, 2012 – from the mountain, Moses caught his nightfall October 8, 2012) is an harpeople worshipping a golden calf and vest holiday, lasting for eight days shattered the sacred tablets in anger. that arrives during the Hebrew month As the Israelites made amend for of Tishri. It starts four days after Yom their idolatry, God forgave their sins Kippur and it is also known as the and offered Moses a second set of Festival of Booths and the Feast of Tabernacles. It is one the most joyous tablets. Jewish texts recount that during bibli- feast, it is commonly referred to in cal times Yom Kippur was the only Jewish prayer and literature as Z'man day on which the high priest could Simchateinu, the Season of our enter the inner sanctum of the Holy Rejoicing. Its origin goes back to anTemple in Jerusalem. There, he would cient Israel when Jews used to build perform a series of rituals and sprink- huts near the edges of their field dule blood from sacrificed animals on ring the harvest season. Sukkot has a the Ark of the Covenant, which con- two meanings : historical and agricultained the Ten Commandments. tural. Through this complex ceremony he

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Historically, Sukkot commemorates the forty-year period during which the children of Israel were wandering in the desert, living in temporary shelters. Agriculturally, Sukkot is a harvest festival and is sometimes referred to as Chag Ha-Asif, the Festival of Ingathering. No work is permitted on the first and second days of the holiday. There are three major traditions associated with Sukkot: ! Building a sukkah. ! Eating in the sukkah. ! Waving the lulav and etrog. At the beginning of sukkot (often during the days between Yom Kippur and Sukkot) Jews construct a sukkah (booth). In ancient times people would live in the sukkot and eat every meal in them. In modern times people most often build a sukkah in their backyards or help their synagogue construct one for the community. Since Sukkot celebrates the harvest in the land of Israel: Another important custom on Sukkot involves waving the lulav and etrog (known also as the Four Species). Jews are commanded to take these four plants and use them to "rejoice before the Lord." The four species are an etrog, is kind of citron (similar to a lemon), three myrtle twigs (hadassim), two willow twigs (aravot) and a palm frond (lulav). The six branches are bound together and referred to collectively as the lulav, because the palm branch is the largest of these plants the myrtle and willow are wrapped around it. The etrog is held separately. During Sukkot, the lulav and etrog are waved together while reciting special blessings. They are waved in each of the four directions (west, north, east,) sometimes six if "up" and "down" are included in the ritual - representing God's dominion over Creation and that God is everywhere. The lulav and etrog are also part of the synagogue service. The use of these four plants has two main explanations of the symbolic significance, the first is that they represent different parts of the body, the second different kinds of Jews. According to the first interpretation, the long straight palm branch symbo-

lizes the spine, the myrtle leaf, which is a small oval, represents the eye., the willow leaf, a long oval, represents the mouth, and the etrog fruit represents the heart. All of these parts have the potential to be used for sin, but should join together in the performance of mitzvot (commandments). According to the second interpretation, the etrog, which has both a pleasing taste and a pleasing scent, represents Jews who have achieved both knowledge of Torah and performance of mitzvot. The palm branch, which produces tasty fruit, but has no scent, represents Jews who have knowledge of Torah but are lacking in mitzvot. The myrtle leaf, which has a strong scent but no taste, represents Jews who perform mitzvot but have little knowledge of Torah. The willow, which has neither taste nor scent, represents Jews who have no knowledge of Torah and do not perform the mitzvot. We bring all four of these species together on Sukkot to remind us that every one of these four kinds of Jews is important, and that we must all be united. The eighth and last day of Sukkot is known as Shmeni Atzeret. On this day a prayer for rain is recited, demonstrating how the Jewish holidays are in tune with the seasons of Israel, which begins on this day. Shemini Atzeret, and Simchat Torah . Shemini Atzeret, (October, 8 , 2012), means “the eight day of assembly”, it is a Biblical Jewish holiday that falls immediately after the holiday of Sukkot. Although its name implies that it is part of Sukkot ("Shemini" means eighth, hence implying that the holiday is the eighth day of Sukkot), Shemini Atzeret is actually considered a separate holiday. In the Torah, Number 29:35, it is written: "On the eighth day you should hold a solemn

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gathering; you shall not work at your occupation" . There are many explanations of the meaning and purpose of this holiday. The word “atzeret” can mean either “stoppage,” “final,” or “gathering.” The Mishna teaches that on Shemini Atzeret the world is judged for water, or rainfall, in the upcoming year. In an agricultural society it was a very important day. This made Shemini Atzeret particularly important in Biblical and Temple times when we lived in an agrarian society. Shemini Atzeret marks the beginning of the rainy season following the harvest in Israel. In addition to the agricultural meaning of this holiday, other explanations are given for the Shemini Atzeret in Rabbinic literature. Shemini Atzeret is considered a day in which it is emphasized the special relationship between the Jewish people and God. Another explanation points out the coming of Shemini Atzeret at the end of a particularly rich holiday season. During the Hebrew month of Tishrei Jews celebrate Rosh Hashana, which is followed ten days later by Yom Kippur. Five days later comes Sukkot. A midrash says that on Shemini Atzeret, God said to the Jewish people : "your departure is difficult for me. Stay with me one more day."


Simchat Torah, (October, 9 , 2012), is a celebratory Jewish holiday that marks the completion of the annual Torah reading cycle, it means literally â&#x20AC;&#x153;Rejoicing in the Lawâ&#x20AC;?. During the year every week a part of Torah is read. On Simchat Torah that cycle will be finished when the last verses of Deuteronomy are read. The first few verses of Genesis are read immediately afterward, therefore starting the cycle again. For this reason, Simchat Torah is considered a joyous holiday, that celebrates with processions, singing and dancing, the ending of the study of God's word and the expectation to hearing those words again during the coming new year. Today in the Diaspora, Simchat Torah is celebrated on the second day of Shemini Atzeret. It is common for Jews in the Diaspora to refer to the first day as Shemini Atzeret and to the second day as Simchat Torah. In Israel, Simchat Torah is celebrated on the first and only day of Shemini Atzeret. The holiday is referred to as both Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah. Shemini Atzeret and Simchat Torah are holidays on which work is not permitted. In Simchat Torah Feast, the Torah scrolls will be removed from the ark and given to members of the congregation to hold, then they march around the synagogue and everyone kisses the Torah scrolls as they pass. This ceremony is known as hakafot, which means "to march around" in Hebrew. Once the Torah holders return to the ark everyone forms a circle around them and dances with them. There are seven hakafot in total, so as soon as the first dance is completed the scrolls are handed to other members of the congregation and the ritual begins anew. In some synagogues it is also popular for children to hand out candy to everyone. . Chanukkah / Hanukkah (Festival of Lights), (sunset December 8, 2012 nightfall December 16, 2012), Chanukkah, the Jewish festival of rededication, also known as the festival of lights, is an eight day festival beginning on the 25th day of the Jewish month of Kislev. Since the Jewish calendar is lunar based, every year

the first day of Hanukkah falls on a different day â&#x20AC;&#x201C; usually sometime between late November and late December. Because many Jews live in predominately Christian societies, over time Hanukkah has become much more festive and Christmaslike. Chanukkah is probably one of the best known Jewish holidays, not because of any great religious significance, but because of its proximity to Christmas. It is bitterly ironic that this holiday, which has its roots in a revolution against assimilation and the suppression of Jewish religion, has become the most assimilated, secular holiday on Jewish calendar. The story of Chanukkah begins in the reign of Alexander the Great. Alexander conquered Syria, Egypt and Judea, but allowed the people under his control to continue observing their own religions and retain a certain degree of autonomy. Under this relatively benevolent rule, many Jews assimilated, adopting much of Hellenistic culture, including the language, customs, dress, etc., in much the same way that Jews in America today blend into the secular American society. More than a century later, a successor of Alexander, Antiochus IV was in control of the region. He began to oppress the Jews severely, placing a Hellenistic priest in the Temple, mas-

sacring Jews, prohibiting the practice of the Jewish religion, and desecrating the Temple by requiring the sacrifice of pigs (a non-kosher animal) on the altar. Jews were forbidden to follow their faith and many were forcibly converted or killed for not converting. Eventually a band of Jews called the Maccabees gathered an army and revolted against the Greeks and won the battle. This band of men sought to clean up the temple and restore the faith. According to tradition as recorded in the Talmud, at the time of the

rededication, there was very little oil left that had not been made dirty by the Greeks. Oil was needed for the menorah (candelabrum) in the Temple, which was supposed to burn throughout the night every night. There was only enough oil to burn for one day, yet miraculously, it burned for eight days. An eight day festival was

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declared to commemorate this miracle. Traditions of Chanukkah include lighting candles on a Menorah every night for eight nights in the home, eating food cooked in oil (doughnuts, potato pancakes etc.), giving presents, holding parties and celebrations, and playing games with a dreidel, a traditional spinning top. Note that the holiday commemorates the miracle of the oil, not the military victory: Jews do not glorify war. Chanukah is not mentioned in Jewish scripture; the story is related in the book of the Maccabees, which Jews do not accept as scripture. The only religious observance related to the holiday is the lighting of candles. The candles are arranged in a candelabrum called a Hanukiah. Many people refer to the Hanukiah incorrectly as a menorah. The name menorah is used only to describe the seven-

branched candelabrum that was housed in the Jewish Temple. The Hanukiah holds nine candles: one for each night, plus a shamash (servant) at a different height. Every community has its unique Chanukkah traditions, but there are some traditions that are almost universally practiced. They are : lighting the hanukkiyah, (which is a candelabrum with eight candleholders in a row and a ninth candleholder set a little above the others. It's different from a menorah, which has seven branches and was used in the Temple before it was destroyed in 70 CE. A hanukkiyah is nevertheless a kind of menorah); spinning the dreidel, (it is a four-sided spinning top,) and eating fried foods.


! Lighting the hanukkiyah: Every year it is customary to commemorate the miracle of the Hanukkah oil by lighting candles on a hanukkiyah. The hanukkiyah will be lit every night for eight nights. ! Spinning the dreidel: A popular Hanukkah game is spinning the dreidel, which is a four-sided top with Hebrew letters written on each side. Read The Hanukkah Dreidel to learn more about the dreidel, the meaning of the letters and how to play the game. Gelt, which are chocolate coins covered with tin foil, are part of this game. ! Eating fried foods: Because Hanukkah celebrates the miracle of oil, it is traditional to eat fried foods such as latkes and sufganiyot during the holiday. Latkes are pancakes made out of potatoes and onions, which are fried in oil and then served with applesauce. Sufganiyot are jelly-filled donuts that are fried and sometimes dusted with confectioners’ sugar before eating. Tu B’Shvat, (February 8 , 2012) is the Jewish New Year for the trees. It takes place on the 15th of Shvat, which is a Hebrew month that usually falls between mid-January and midFebruary. Tu B’shvat literally means “15th of Shevat.” It is an ancient holiday. Its original purpose was to calculate the age of the trees for tithing. Scholars believe that Tu B’Shvat was originally an agricultural festival, marking the emergence of spring. After the destruction of the Temple in 70 C.E. this holiday was a way for Jews to symbolically bind themselves to their former homeland by eating foods that could be found in Israel. There is little information available about this holiday, even if Tu B’Shvat is discussed in both the Mishna and the Talmud. The origin of Tu B’shvat is explained in the Mishna (the six orders of the Oral Tradition). The very first verse says, “There are four New Years: On the first of the month of Nissan is the New Year for kings and for festivals; on the first of Elul is the New Year for the tithe of animals; on the first of Tishrei (Rosh HaShanah) is

the New Year for the counting of the years, for Shmitta (sabbatical years), for the Jubilee; and on the first of Shevat is the New Year for Trees, according to the view of the School of Shammai. But the School of Hillel says, on the fifteenth of Shevat. Tu B'Shvat is the New Year for trees. A special Tu B’Shvat Seder was formulated in the mid 1500’s by the students of the Holy Ari - Rabbi Isaac Luria. They saw the Seder as an opportunity to restore their spiritual connection with the Four Worlds of the Kabbalah. It was set up along the lines of the Passover Seder. White tablecloths were placed on the tables with light of candles glowing. Incense, preferably myrtle, which is harvested during Sukkot, is placed on the tables. Similarly, flowers were used to decorate the tables and to give the air a pleasant fragrance. The Torah forbids Jews to eat the fruit of new trees for three years after they are planted. The fourth year's fruit was to be tithed to the Temple. Leviticus 19:23-25 states that no fruit may be taken from a tree during its first three years of life. Fruit from the fourth year was given to God as a burnt offering, and in the fifth year the fruit could be eaten. Trees aged one year on Tu B’Shvat, so in many ways Tu B’Shvat is the birthday of the trees. There are few customs or observances related to this holiday. Many Jews celebrate Tu B’Shvat by donating money to the Jewish National Fund, an agency that plants trees in Israel. It is also popular to commemorate Tu B’Shvat by eating foods that can be found in Israel, such as olives, figs, grapes, honey, carob fruit and pomegranates. Some of these foods are mentioned in Deuteronomy 8:8, which describes Israel as “a land with wheat and barley, vines and fig trees, pomegranates, olive oil and honey.” The Shivat Haminim are: wheat, barley, grapes (vines), figs, pomegranates, olives and dates (honey) (Deut.

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8:8). You can make a nice vegetarian pilaf from the shivat haminim: a bed of cooked bulgar wheat or wheat berries and barley, topped with figs, dates, raisins (grapes), and pomegranate seeds, served with a dressing of olive oil, balsamic vinegar (grapes) and pomegranate juice.

(to be continued)

@ Patrizia Trombini


FOCUS

BAHIA “A PARADISE TO BE EXPLOITED”

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FOCUS

COSTA DO DENDEâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; Bahia differentiates itself on the national scene for its hi- wide range of options, favoring the increase on average story, its consuetude and its culture. Here Brazil was stay and the return rate of visitors, and consequently the born, here we have a scene of rare beauty and a unique financial return on new ventures. cultural diversity, where nature reigns absolute and the Among the tourist areas of the state and its investment protection of the gods and deities seduces visitors with all options, we can highlight the tourist resorts on the north their grace and belief. Whether from the north to south coast. This region is an international destination and and from east to west, the landscape converts Bahia now into a very special place full of beaches, waterfalls, was named Brazilian Riviera. Its layout allows islands, rivers, lakes, caves and caverns. The integration of diverse socioeconomic neighboregion is full of 14,021,432 baianos divided ring counties, enabling the development of between the Bahian capital Salvador and its 417 the region, especially in the leisure segment, BAHIA counties, which are by nature and excellence, with a range of tourist facilities that make it hospitable, welcoming, friendly and revelers arieasy for visitors to explore the natural beauty sing from the mixing of ethnic groups that began and flora, dunes and extensive mesh basin. It at the time of the discovery, extending to the arrival is the region that has the largest number of inslaves in our territory. vestments in tourism in the country according to information from the tourism secretary, until 2020 Bahia With a rich biodiversity and a large collection historical / may become the main tourist destination in Brazil and the cultural, and a wonderful natural paradise, the state of north coast is expected to consolidate its position as the Bahia is the 5th largest Brazilian state in area, 4th. in po- largest center of hospitality Latin America, surpassing pulation , 6th. in potential of consumption and the largest even Cancun, in Mexico. Today solidification of some toueconomy in the northeast, with one third of the regionâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s rist developments on the coast of coconut trees has proGDP and over 50% of exports. Bahia is the 2nd largest vided the constant attraction of other companies and earpiece nucleus of leisure tourism in the country and it is projects. for this reason that the Bahian government has invested A region also promising for properties investors and Praia in infrastructure projects in tourist areas of the state, do Forte is the beach which is also located on the coast of seeking to attract new private investments, prioritizing job coconut trees and an exotic locale is situated in Bahia. creation, income increase and environmental education in This location very close to the state capital is a trendy order to secure the Bahia as a model of sustainable tou- destination, not very big, but sensational for those looking rism development. to escape the bustle of day-by-day, but it is also next troDue to this vast land area and the variety of scenarios, pical beaches Salvador city itself, allowing tourists to entraditions and cultural attractions, the state of Bahia was joy a bit of nightlife and urban if they desire. The days in divided into tourist areas, each getting the name of its this city can be spent lazing on the beach or shopping in main characteristic physical identity and theme. This mul- the nearby town. So it is a good option for business who tiplicity of attractive provides the visitor and the investor a seeks real state market field and market hotel.

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Besides the north coast, another region still largely unknown, however promising, is the Coast of the Palm( Costa do DendĂŞ ). An area of 115 km of coastline in the state of Bahia which is worthy to invest. Although still not as well known as the Bay of All Saints ( Baia de Todos os Santos )., the oil palm coast has great potential when it comes to investments in Bahia, especially in gastronomy field. This area is known for a palm oil palm where the African oil is extracted, but what most investors still do not know is that the region itself has fantastic restaurants that may surprise the taste buds of all. With a gastronomic approach and the use of palm oil only it, but as well as the harpsichord, fresh black pepper and other spices found in abundance in this region, the investor can maximize their investments in this area. The Coast of Palm and Fort Beach, are two good areas in the Bahia region to wisely in real estate market, whether for purposes of leisure or housing. They are quiet towns with

an abundance of natural beauty and products of the land, and their properties are not on the most expensive part of the state, even being among the main localities for those who aims to invest. The return is fast and guaranteed, because we always have visitors interested in new developments in these regions. Bahia has also good stability and fiscal policy, achieved from the 90, placing it in a prominent position before the other states competing to attract investments. It also has abundant and skilled workforce, large tax incentives, and large agricultural and industrial potential. Therefore, investment opportunities and additional conditions are excellent incentives for new investors accomplish their greatest dreams.

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@ Elaine Neves Moreira da Silva @ PatrĂ­cia Neves Moreira da Silva @ Rose Mary de Oliveira Santos Almeida

SALVADOR DE BAHIA

Photos: Elaine Moreira da Silva Patricia Neves Moreira da Silva Rose Mary de Oliveira Santos Almeida Location: Costa Dos Coqubros: Praia do Forte

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China : a world leading nation in shipbuilding (1st Part) It was in 2005 when Chinese government declared that China was expected to become No.1 shipbuilding nation in the world in 10 years. Before analyzing this statement, let us make a brief overlook on the history of Chinese shipbuilding industry. This article on China is divided into two parts. The first deals with China’s shipbuilding history and features from the beginning to the end of XX century; the second part will deal with China’s Shipbuilding characteristic and success at the beginning of XXI century, the actual deep financial and economic crisis and China as one of the shipbuilding leading countries in the world. Chinese people had begun to construct canoes and rafts already in the Neolithic Age, that is about 10,000 – 4,000 years ago and started to travel the oceans. During the Qin (221-206) and Han (206 b.C - 220 AD) dynasties, China had its first climax in shipbuilding when the Emperor Qin Shihuang (also called the First Emperor of China), who was the founder of the first unified empire in the history of China, organized a fleet that could transport 500,000 shi (1 shi = 71,7 Kg) of grain; it is also reported in ancient books that this Emperor led a fleet of war ships with deck castles so as to carry out an assault on the Chu State and after the unification of China he also made a cruise with these vessels. With the Han dynasty the navy was mainly made up of castle ships and was the main force of the navy and the symbol of the advanced techniques in shipbuilding.

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In Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) Dynasties China’s shipbuilding industry reached a maturity in terms of quantity and quality, new techniques were used as well as improved. Ships were larger in body and could hold around 700 people with a length of more than 60 meters and some vessels could carry about 1500 tons. At that time the principle applied was “curved side boards, broad lateral beams, and loft superstructure”, according to this concept the decks were broadened and the V-shaped bottom highly facilitated the sailing. In that time shipbuilding techniques reached high level, considering that China’s adoption of the technology used in assembling ships, such as mortise-and-tenon joints, was 500 years earlier than in the European countries. The Song artisans could prepare models based on the function and used of the ship to be built, with blueprints being worked out prior to carrying out the actual construction. Ship blueprints appeared in European only 300 to 400 years later. At the time of the Yuan Dynasty (1271-1368) there were more than 17,900 warships and a great number of civil ships were scattered all over the country. The most important climax, according to some archeological discoveries as well as historical records, it was reached with the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), when a large number of ships were built by employing the well-developed shipbuilding technologies of the Tang and Song dynasties and shipbuilding yards represented the highest level in Chinese shipbuilding. Near the main shipbuilding yards there were handicrafts workshops that produced ship accessories, such as sails, ropes, and nails. Besides there was also a rigorous management system concerning the check, repair, and payment of ships. The great achievements in shipbuilding during the Ming Dynasty represented an

enormous contribution by the Chinese people to world civilization and human development. It is recorded that one of the greatest Chinese navigator in the world Zhen He (13711435), led a fleet of hundreds ships, sailing from South China Sea to countries of Southeast Asia and East Africa, the purpose of the voyage was trade and culture exchanges. The size of the vessels were about 145 meters and 60 meters width, there were 9 masts on board for sails. These ships represented the high level reached by shipbuilding technology at that time. Unfortunately in the following centuries the Emperors in China (Ming Dynasty and Qing Dynasty) employed a policy of “blocking” which banned any kind of relationship with foreign countries. Together with the fall of the Chinese economy and the strength of the nation, there was the decline of navigation and the technology as well as the loss of shipbuilding capacity. The modern shipbuilding industry in China started in 1885, when a minister of Q i n g D y n a s t y, M r. L i Hongzhang, set up a factory producing modern motor ship and new shipyard were established so as to build warships for the Chinese government, since then Shanghai and Fujian became shipbuilding centers. In the first part half of 20th century the situation in China, from all points of view: political economical social etc. was really turbulent, as World War II and Civil War stopped the economy causing the stagnation in shipbuilding development. By the year of 1949, these was about 20 shipyards in China with total 20,000 employees, and it should be mentioned that the shipbuilding industry in Southern part of China had been heavily destroyed during the wartime. After Civil war in 1949, the shipbuilding industry was reorganized and nationalized with the establishment of Na-

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tional Shipbuilding and Ship repairing Corporation (ancestor of China Nation Shipbuilding Corporation). During the period from 1949 to 1978, there were two phases, which could summarize the development of the Chinese shipbuilding industry. In the first phase from 1950 to 1960 China introduced building technology from former Soviet Union for military vessels and Chinese shipbuilder restarted exporting ships, which were fishing ships of 300 horsepower, sold to the account of owner in former Soviet Union. The second phase regards the period from 1960 to 1978, although Culture Revolution (from 1966 to 1976) interrupted the national economy, the Shipbuilding as strategic industry was maintained and kept going. During this period, Chinese shipbuilding served the domestic market. Thanks to Mr. Deng Xiaoping, the national leader, who decided to adopt “open policy”, China has experienced a period of growing prosperity and stability since the introduction by the Chinese Government of the Open Door Policy in 1978. This was a comprehensive program of economic reforms, modernization and social development, and China started to emerge as a significant global economic power. From that moment on, the shipbuilding industry in China started to enter international market, even if the gap with the shipbuilding leading countries was still wide.


The development of the Chinese shipbuilding industry is often compared to the development of the industry in South Korea, but the conditions for the process of development differed considerably, as South Korea’s production was for export, while the Chinese economic strategy was to develop shipyard capacity to sustain, support and foster the domestic economic development. China aimed to be self sufficient in sea transport, that meant being able to carry out the supply of raw materials for domestic manufacturing, meeting the food needs of its populations and the trade with other countries should (when possible) be undertaken by Chinese built ships. The Chinese shipbuilding industry experienced considerable expansion together with China’s accelerated economic growth. With this economic development, driven by exports, China, unlike other emerging economies which relied heavily on foreign shipping services, adopted a policy of building its domestic fleet in order to meet the growing demands of the international trade, and this increased the commercial output of new vessels. China has a long coastline, is edged by the Bohai Gulf, the Yellow Sea, and the East China and South China seas, as well as many rivers. The Chinese shipbuilding and ship-repair industry includes a large number of yards ranging from those capable of building VLCCs (Very Large Crude Carrier’ referring to tankers carrying above around 200,000 tonnes of cargo, the typical size of a VLCC is around 300,000 tonnes dwt) to those yards, which are a great number but very small, that can build small boats and local craft. These yards cover a wide geographical area, both coastal and inland, reflecting in this way the development of marine industries along the major river systems even if the main shipbuilding

and repair activity tends to be concentrated in specific locations such as: Shanghai, followed by Guangzhou and Dalian. The analysis of Chinese economy growing means studying and surveying the key sector of this development. Generally speaking, shipbuilding industry is a sum of factors put together: technology, labour and capital intensive, as already stated previously, China and its government has considered this kind of industry as strategic industry, with the aim to upgrade and strengthen the national defense capability and to drive the economic development, that is a catalyst for the development of the iron and steel, electronic, and machinery manufacturing industries. A National Medium-and Longterm Plan was elaborated and issued in 2006 to guide the shipbuilding Industry, with focus on identification and removal of all the barriers to industrial development. The Chinese industry was to increase its efforts over the next five to ten years in order to challenge existing main shipbuilders. China has a number of important advantages for the development of this industry sector, such as: availability of land, a large, well-trained and relatively cheap labour force and complementary industrial support from other sectors such as the iron and steel, metallurgical and machinery manufacturing. COSTIND (Commission of Science, Technology and Industry for National Defense) in pursuit of China’s stated aim of becoming a major shipbuilder has identified the marine equipment industry (at the time being, Europe is still the leader) as a key element in the supporting industrial infrastructure, and has accorded it a very high priority. For example, marine electronics, as a by-product of developments in the shipbuilding and information industries, is

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emerging as a new growth area in the national economy. In many developed economies, shipbuilding is frequently closely related to the iron and steel industries. For instance, The Korean steelmaker POSCO invested in the Korean Daewoo shipyards to ensure a closer integration of those activities, and Japan’s JFE Steel Corporation has also acquired a world-class shipbuilding enterprise. In China, many iron and steel enterprises have expressed their willingness to build up manufacturing, processing and distribution centers with shipbuilding enterprises in order to improve production efficiency and decrease production costs. The impact of the Chinese shipbuilding industry in the Chinese economy affected several aspects. First of all with the development of Chinese economy more energy and industrial raw materials were required and therefore in the context of globalization, international purchasing and import of these materials for production become daily routine, that meant that, China needed more vessels to transport energy and raw materials in import and in export. On the second place, Shipbuilding industry has a sort of pulling effects on all its entire supply chain such as Metallurgy, Machinery, Electronic, Textile and Banking and service sector. Until May 1982, China’s shipyards, associated institutes, and factories were organized under the Sixth Ministry of Machine-Building Industry, the Ministry of Communications, and the State Administration of Aquatic Products. The Ministry of Defense also made inputs and contributions in the design as well as in the construction of all types of vessels. Shipyards could be managed also by Provinces, municipalities and autonomous regions. In particular, according to “Shipbuilding Industry in China “(Rettion of


the shipbuilding industry in China i submitted for consideration by the WP6 at its meeting on3-4 July 2008) is reported that: “More specifically, the construction of larger merchant ships as well as specialized vessels used for the exploration and development of oil industry were under the jurisdiction of the Sixth Ministry of Machine Building Industry’s umbrella body, the China Corporation of Shipbuilding Industries (CCSI). Some smaller merchant ships, inland waterway vessels, and ship repairs for coastal ships were the province of the Ministry of Communications. Fishing vessels and their repair came under the supervision of the State Administration of Aquatic products.”

Owned Enterprises (SOE’s) under direct supervision of the State Council and include the China State Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) and the China Shipbuilding Industry Corporation (CSIC).

Following the 1999 organizational reforms, the integration of the military and commercial sides of Chinese shipbuilding was quite explicit. The shipyards that once built only warships turned their expertise and facilities to the construction of freighters and other vessels for commercial purposes, starting to export ships to more than 40 countries and regions including Japan, the United States, Germany, Norway, France, Switzerland, Iran, Canada, Hong A lot changes were carried out in Chi- Kong, Singapore and Malaysia. na, so as to keep up with the reforms to simplify and reorganize manage- At that time the low-tech Chinese ment as well as reduce the bureau- shipbuilding industry could not producracy. Infact a number of ministries, ce high level product and achieving state corporations and commissions acceptable quality remained a chalwere joined together or abolished, for lenge; but this gap with the leading instance the Ministry’s China Corpo- countries (Japan, South Korean ration of Shipbuilding Industry was etc.)has been addressed by changes merged with the shipbuilding and ship in management systems and in higher repair functions of the Ministry of quality standards. Communications to create a new China State Shipbuilding Corporation As the beginning of 1998 China State (CSSC), which as a state corporation Shipbuilding Corporation (CSSC) was directly under the authority of the was considering the creation of three State Council. large shipbuilding groups which would be based in Dalian, Shanghai and It was originally formed in 1982, deve- Guangzhou. loped into a large enterprise group, These would be in addition to the prerich in economic and technical re- viously announced plan to create the sources and active in many fields of country’s largest shipbuilding group work, covering production, trade, re- through the merger of Dalian New search and development and educa- Shipyard, Dalian Shipyard and Bohai tion. CSSC, as the main support of Shipyard into the Liaoning Shipbuilthe shipbuilding industry of China, ding Group. produced a wide range of products and had the capability of designing, CSTC (China Shipbuilding Trading building and repairing. Company) is the trade company of China State Shipbuilding Corporation, In early 1998 China State Shipbuil- specially engaged in export and imding Corporation (CSSC) began re- port businesses of CSSC, such as: organizing its huge shipbuilding re- export of commercial & naval ship, source so as to increase the share of marine and non-marine equipment, the global shipbuilding market. In the import of shipbuilding materials and following year, its main shipyards we- equipment; import and export of re to be put together into production technology, compensation trade, cogroups, each able to operate and production, material processing and work independently to exploit Chi- assembly, labor and technical service, na’s fast growing economy. The re- construction projects including organization of CSSC was part of a shipyard, equipment manufacturing wider plan by China’s Central Go- plants, steel structures, industrial invernment to make more efficient the stallation packages, high rise builoperation of its ministries and state- dings, co-production and joint ventuowned enterprises. Under the overall re. CSTC State Council initiative of 01 July (China Shipbuilding Trading Compa1999, the Chinese government split ny) has branch companies in Shanthe top five Defense and Technology ghai, Dalian, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Corporations into ten new enterprises. Xi’an, Kunming, Wuhan, Jiujiang and These corporations are all large State Chongqing, and its trade and repre-

sentative offices are set up in all the world: Hong Kong, Hamburg, Los Angeles, Bangkok, Islamabad, Moscow, London and Athens. (to be continued)

i

@ Patrizia Trombini

(To be continued)

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GOLD: from the mines to a safe asset

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GOLD: from the mines to a safe asset A journey into the world of gold to find out how and why this metal has always been a precious commodity and today become a safe asset. PHYSICAL GOLD AND PAPER GOLD The traditional physical forms of gold holdings The traditional physical forms of gold holdings are represented by ingots â&#x20AC;&#x201C; the standard gold bullion of 12,5kg, the bullion of 1 kg, coins, nuggets, jewelry . The private investors can deal with gold through metal accounts, which are very similar to bank accounts and can be divided into allocated metal accounts (bullions can be identified by a number) and unallocated accounts (the investor has the right on an unspecified gold quantity). In both cases the investors can buy and sell the metal without holding it directly, even if he can withdraw it at any time. The investor, after buying the gold, can deposit the gold with the same dealers, receive a deposit certificate that can be transferred by a simple endorsement and therefore that will allow the transfer of property without the physical delivery of the metal. Among the financial instruments it should be mentioned : Options, Futures, Gold Warrants, Swaps, Gold Investment Funds, Term Operation, Stocks in mining companies, Gold Loan. Options The Option is a derivative contract that attributes to one of the party ( against payment of a fee, the so called premium), the right to exercise within a due date the purchase or the sale of the metal at a fixed price. For this choice right, the investor has a cost that is represented by the premium.

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The American Options can be exercised at any time prior to and including its maturity date, while European options can be exercised only at maturity. The premium price is affected by supply and demand, interest rates, expiry date and by the expected unpredictability (volatility)of gold price. The basic options are “Call” and “Put”. From these basic options several combinations can be created, which take place when bought and sold options with different features gather together. The main market is Comex. With the term or forward operations the operators has the irrevocable obligation to purchase or sell a certain gold quantity at an expiry date and at a price fixed at the moment of the operation closure. In this case the obligation and the fulfillment, that is the delivery and the payment, take place in different dates. It cannot be written off, but it can be settled at any time prior the maturity date, by closing an opposite contract with the same maturity date. This is an interesting operation for investors and operators which do not need to have immediately available money counter value as well as for the metal producers, which sell the future mining.

Futures Gold future is a contract with which the contracting parties commit themselves to deliver or receive a certain amount of gold at a fixed price and a certain date. For all the futures is needed an initial and marginal deposit to be adjusted to possible price fluctuation. The premium of price of a forward contract compared to the spot price, which is called “contango”, is affected by interests and by storing and insurance costs. Therefore the characteristics of futures contracts are: standardized quantity and maturity, trading in a regulated market, clearing house as a counter party and safety margins and daily valorization of the contract. Seldom a futures contract stays open until the maturity, often the positions are closed in advance, by adopting an opposite position. Those who are interested in

futures are speculators, the hedgers (above all the mining companies), that is those who cover themselves against the price risk.

Gold Warrants The Gold Warrants are basically options on gold purchase, at a fixed price which can be connected to shares and obligations. Usually it is about put warrant and it gives the possibility to receive the difference between the gold market price and the price of the warrant in that certain moment. The bearer of a detachable warrant has the right, at a certain date and after the payment of a sum, to the delivery of a certain quantity of gold. Besides the gold convertible stocks offer an interest rate and can be converted in gold prior or after the maturities of the same stock; therefore the investor holds an option on the gold price which yields the interest too. Gold Swaps With gold swaps you have the transfer of ingots to a dealer in exchange for currency, with a fixed forward price with which the gold will be returned. Although the effect is similar to a spot sale and a forward buyback, the difference is that the counterparties are the same, avoiding transaction on the market and therefore without any effects on the prices. Gold Investment Funds Gold investment funds are specialized in investments linked to gold on a worldwide scale. We address to funds (mostly located in Great Britain, Swiss and U.S.A.) so as to reduce the risk with regard to an investment on only one stock. Gold Loan In the last ten years we have seen a strong market growth on gold loans, thanks also to the banks, that have began to lend gold to the mines. In this way mining companies sell the gold, they have obtained as a loan in order to receive cash flow so to finance their own company and at the maturity date the mining company will pay back the loan in extracted gold. The Central Banks purchase the ¾ of the loan supply

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Gold Mining Stocks A form of gold investment is represented by the purchase of gold mining stocks. In this kind of investment it is necessary to evaluate the balance sheet, the financial and technical characteristics, the estimated growth of the mining company, the fluctuations of the foreign currency as well as the possible changes of the country tax treatment. Compared to the direct gold purchase, in this case, the investor can exploit both the gold courses and the stock market. The main markets are those of South Africa, Canada, Australia and United States. ETF (EXCHANGE TRADED FUNDS ) ETFs are collective saving inv e s t m e n t s i n s t r u m e n t s e xchanged on regulated market which tend to repeat, with a narrow gap margin, known and representative financial ratings of particular stock and bond markets. In the case of gold, the financial instrument repeats exactly the trends of gold, whose face value is usually expressed in ounce part (generally 1/10). In conclusion it can be stated that an ETF is a gold “stock“ as the paper part is covered by the physical part. Infact the body that issues ETF has to deposit physical gold as counter value with regard to the underwritten stock. The first ETF on gold sponsored by World Gold Council started off at NYSE in November 2004 with the name of Streettracks Gold ETF, recently has been renamed SPDR Gold Trust, receiving resounding success among the investors. Afterwards other products have been launched, which are quoted on world lists and on main markets of gold exchange as London, Dubai, Shangai, etc.. (to be continued)

@ Caterina Garofalo


ENERGY

The price of energy 47


ENERGY

The price of energy and food is climb- - Hydrogen and Other Energy Storing, unemployment remains high, the age Technology housing market has tanked, consumer - Smart Grid Technology and Smart and government debt is soaring, and cities the recovery is slowing. - Plug in, Electric, Hybrid, and HydroThere is a common view, that when gen Fuel Cell based Transportation there are too many negative MacroHe theory argues that conjoining economic factors, a big world war or a Internet communication technology radical Industrial Revolution is coming and renewable energies is giving rise …it should be the third one. to a Third Industrial Revolution. The The Third Industrial Revolution is creation of a renewable energy rea concept and vision outlined by Jer- gime, loaded by buildings, partially emy Rifkin (one of the foremost think- stored in the form of hydrogen, disers of our time…He has come up with tributed via an energy internet—a sa visionary and innovative economic mart intergrid—and connected to plug development model that ensures the in zero emission transport, opens the sustainability of our natural resources door to a Third Industrial Revolution. and ecosystems) and endorsed by The entire system is interactive, intethe European Parliament, in a formal grated and seamless. This interconnectedness is creating whole new declaration passed in June 2007. opportunities for cross-industry relaThroughout history, economic trans- tionships. The Third Industrial Revoluformations occur when new commu- tion brings with it a new era of “disnication technology converges with tributed capitalism” in which millions new energy systems. The new forms of existing and new businesses and of communication become the me- homeowners become energy players. dium for organizing and managing the In the process, we will create millions more complex civilizations made pos- of green jobs, jump start a new techsible by the new sources of energy. nology revolution, and dramatically The conjoining of internet communica- increase productivity, as well as mitition technology and renewable ener- gate climate change. gies in the 21st Century, is giving rise Five pillars to the Third Industrial Revolution. The five pillars of the Third Industrial “The energy sharing is the New Inter- Revolution infrastructure are: net”: this is the most important vision in the last Rifkin’s book. 1 Shifting to Renewable EnHe asks us to imagine hundreds of ergy: Renewable forms of energy millions of people producing their own like solar, wind, hydro, geothermal, ogreen energy in their homes, offices, cean waves, and biomass— make up and factories, and sharing it with each the first of the five pillars of the Third other in an "energy internet," just like Industrial Revolution. While these we now create and share information energies still account for a small perand files online: kB (Kilo bytes) like centage of the global energy mix, they are growing rapidly as governKwh (Kilowatt/hours) ments mandate targets and benchRifkin describes how the five-pillars of marks for their widespread introducthe Third Industrial Revolution will tion into the market and their falling create thousands of businesses and costs make them increasingly commillions of jobs, and usher in a fun- petitive. damental reordering of human rela- 2 Buildings as Green, energy tionships, from hierarchical to power, efficient Power Plants: New technothat will impact the way we conduct logical breakthroughs make it possibusiness, govern society, educate our ble, for the first time, to design and children, and engage in ci construct buildings that create all of The Third Industrial Revolution is based upon 5 Pillars: - Shifting to Renewable Energy - Converting Buildings into Power Plants

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their own energy from locally available renewable energy sources, allowing us to re-conceptualize the future of buildings as “power plants”. The commercial and economic implications are vast and far reaching for the real estate industry and, for that matter, Europe and the world. In


25 years from now, millions of build- others across smart intergrids, just ings –homes, offices, shopping like we now produce our own informalls, industrial and technology mation and share it with each other parks – will be constructed to serve across the Internet as both “power plants” and habitats. 5 New transport ways: TranThese buildings will collect and gensitioning the transport fleet to elecerate energy locally from the sun, wtric, plug in and fuel cell vehiind, garbage, agricultural and forcles that can buy and sell electricity estry waste, ocean on a smart continental interacwaves and tides, hydro and geotive power grid. The electricity we thermal– enough energy to provide produce in our buildings from refor their own power needs as well as newable energy will also be used to surplus energy that can be shared. power electric plug-in cars or to creSo, the energy saving is for everyate hydrogen to power fuel cell vehione become business: all the clean cles. The electric plug in vehicles, in tech must be set up to minimize the turn, will also serve as portable consumption and maximize the enpower plants that can sell electricity ergy to put in the Energy Net. back to the main grid. 3 Storage: Hydrogen and When these five pillars come tobatteries. Deploying Hydrogen and gether, they make up an indivisible other storage technologies in every technological platform—an emergent building and throughout the infrasystem whose properties and funcstructure to store intermittent enertions are qualitatively different from gies. To maximize renewable enerthe sum of its parts. In other words, gy and to minimize cost it will be the synergies between the pillars necessary to develop storage methcreate a new economic paradigm ods that facilitate the conversion that can transform the world. of intermittent supplies of these ene r g y s o u r c e s i n t o r e l i a b l e About the Author assets. Batteries, differentiated water pumping, and other media, can Jeremy Rifkin is president of the provide limited storage capacity. Foundation on Economic Trends and There is, however, one storage me- the author of eighteen bestselling dium that is widely available and can books, including The Hydrogen be relatively efficient. Hydrogen is Economy and The End of Work. He the universal medium that “stores” has been a guest on Face the Naall forms of renewable energy to tion, The Lehrer News Hour, 20/ assure that a stable and reliable 20, Larry King Live, Today, and Good supply is available for power gen- Morning America. The National Joureration and, equally important, for nal named Rifkin as one of 150 people in the U.S. that have the most transport. influence in shaping federal govern4 Smart-grid and Smart Cit- ment policy. He has also testified ies: Using Internet technology to before numerous congressional transform the power grid of every committees, and since 1994, Mr. continent into an energy sharing Rifkin has been a senior lecturer at inter-grid that acts just like the Inter- the Wharton School’s Executive net. The reconfiguration of the Education Program at the University world's power grid, along the lines of of Pennsylvania. Rifkin is chairman the internet, allowing businesses of the Global CEO Business Roundand homeowners to produce their table, which includes IBM, Cisco, own energy and share it with each Cushman and Wakefield, and has other, is just now being tested by served as an adviser to various power companies in Europe. The global leaders, including Nicolas new smart grids or inter-grids will Sarkozy of France and Angela Merrevolutionize the way electricity is kel of Germany. His monthly column produced and delivered. Millions of on global issues appears in many of existing and new buildings—homes, the world’s leading newspapers and offices, factories—will be converted magazines, including The Los Angeor built to serve as “positive power les Times, The Guardian in the plants” that can capture local re- U.K., Die Süddeutsche Zeitung in newable e n e r g y — Germany, Trud in Bulgaria, Clarín in solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, hy Argentina, and Al-Ittihad in the dro, and ocean waves—to create U.A.E. He lives in Bethesda, MD. electricity to power the buildings, @ Mirko Di Veroli while sharing the surplus power with

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ENERGY

Jeremy Rifkin was always ahead of his time. The New Industrial Revolution confirms that the times have caught up with him. It is no longer possible to ignore his vision for the future of humankind."— Calestous Juma, Harvard Belfer Center for Science and International Affairs, John F. Kennedy School.


MARCO NODARI 50


MARCO NODARI We are in London in the company of the Italian singer Marco Nodari who is in England to organize a promotional event. We’re taking the opportunity to interview him and find out more about the background of this emerging singer of pop music. When did your passion for music begin? At the age of 6 , first, while studying the guitar and then moving on to the piano. There has always been a great passion for music in my life , and everything that is connected to sound: this was the start of my dream and I work every day to keep it alive. Do you remember when you wrote your first song? I think I was 12 or 13 years old, although the "musical fragments" had already been born a short time before. I had a small and very amateur studio with an old 4-track recorder where I began to make my first recordings and practiced singing, etc.. How were your first years of hard work? At the beginning of my career , I was involved in my music studies and in the production of concerts in my home province of Mantua, and in other Italian regions as a musician and songwriter. After various experiences of live piano concerts and at many different resorts, I received a great opportunity for a scholarship at the prestigious school CET founded by the great Master Mogol , where I remained for 8 years as coordinator of the course. It was an important learning experience and a wonderful opportunity to meet and sing with well known Italian recording artists . Then I was to "forced" to leave the music world when my father fell ill because I was needed to help in the family business. But the Passion, as we know, never leaves ... when I was able to close this chapter of my life I began to devote myself completely to music and new projects once ,again. Thus in 2011 the album "Buonasera Signorina" and your new tour in Latin America: Costa Rica, Argentina, Uruguay ...Can you tell us about the experience? "Buonasera ,Signorina" is a project-designed by me in collaboration with Bob Benozzo, Producer known in the international scene and several times nominated at the Grammy Awards for Latin music, and Cesare Chiodo, bassist and producer of Laura Pausini, Mina and Celentano. It 'a fusion of original songs in Italian and Spanish also designed for large Italian communities abroad that I had the pleasure to come in contact with and also meet in many of the countries I visited. The debut took place in Costa Rica, where I performed at the Italian Embassy, University, and private events and from there I presented the album in different events in the Italian community and non, both in Argentina and Uruguay. The experience was very positive and the crowds were unforgettable: in my opinion there’s always so much curiosity about new ideas and the people are much more open minded than we tend to be in Italy. The CD was published, printed and distributed in Argentina in May 2012 in agreement with my label, ”Canzoni Buone Come il Pane” ,Del Angel Feg (one the most important record labels in Argentina) and distributed by Sony Music. How do you see the situation in music today in Italy as compared to other countries in the world that you are getting to know? In Italy, today, it is the reality show that decides who is a musician and who is not, there are no opportunities for those who do not belong to clans and castes of that sector ... unfortunately this is the true reality. There is more space abroad, of course is not easy and I do not assume anything but I feel there is more room for talented artists. In my case, the single "Historia de una historia" after only a few months of promotion in Argentina has joined the list of “20 Most Listened to Love Songs” ... not such a small thing ,right?

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Among the Latin American countries you have not mentioned Brazil. Any plans for the future? At this stage Iâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;m not able to realize any initiative in Brazil. Obviously it's a goal in the future not only because ,today, Brazil is an important country in the international arena but also because I've always liked its music, its composers , its bossa ... Among other things, it will be the scene of two major world events : The Olympics and the World Cup, so we hope to be able to also contribute making good music ,there... good as bread ! Speaking about bread, in Italy you have your own record label and publishing company "Canzoni Buone Come il Pane" which deals with the distribution of online music in the world so I think itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s fair to ask you what are the "ingredients" that makes a song as good as bread and why this name? The name is related to my family experience. My parents had a bakery and these hands that now play and compose were used to make bread for a period of time ... itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a beautiful metaphor for a job related to the development of a primary Italian food because bread is a key element and because to make good bread it is not necessary to know the recipe, you have to make it your own. You have your "art", your genius, your sensitivity and experience ... your work. I think that all of this, even in music, will contribute to "bake" a Good Song! Would you like to send a greeting to your readers and fans? Thank you for following and supporting me every day. A hug from my heart.

@ Giorgio Perna

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ART

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ART

Curatorship: Bárbara Coutinho Between art and industry, design (in its multiple expressions, including equipment and fashion) has been perceived from different perspectives over the years, some even contradicting themselves like multiple alter egos. A glimpse into the past century and the first years of the new millennium reveals its plurality and complexity, namely the different perceptions of form and function, a duality that lies at its roots, since its birth within the context of industrialization. Unique objects (that can later be reproduced), limited autographed editions and mass productions nourish the universe of design in all its diversity. If some situations stand out for their principles of formal simplification, lack of ornamentation and adoption of industrial production processes, others attract attention for their decorative and experimental taste, exalting their sculptural and unique value. Both perspectives coexist in the same time frame and can be simultaneously or complementarily assumed by the same designer. After Mies van der Rohe adopted the aphorism 'Less is More', an expression that synthesizes the modernistic concept of deriving from a function, the 20th century discussed it in order to identify with, criticize, oppose or surpass it. Industrial designer Dieter Rams prefers the maxim 'Less, but better', highlighting the democratic, durable and useful nature of products. In a postmodern context, Robert Venturi states that 'Less is a bore', stressing the communicational and symbolic value of each object. Closer to us, the Droog Design collective will defend the idea of 'Less + More' as a synthesis, reflecting present times where design experiences different levels of significance, beyond its utilitarian function. To traverse the century is to comprehend the relationship between market logic and a more experimental and conceptual perspective, such as the connections between design and society, the economy, marketing, advertising and technology, and also architecture, art and other areas of knowledge. It also means learning to reflect, both theoretically and practically, on its definition, intent, cultural significance, heritage and representation.

For futher Information Graça Rodrigues Comunicação MUDE - Museu do Design e da Moda, Colecção Francisco Capelo | Rua Augusta, 24 Tel. + 351 21 888 61 20 - mudemuseum@gmail.com

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INTERNATIONAL

THEATERS SEASON 2012

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THEATRE LA SCALA

After the summer break, the curtain of Teatro della Scala in Milan raises again for a revival of Zeffirelli’s Bohéme, a symbol- play of this Theatre. The playing of this Puccini’s work, which is one of more loved of all his repertoire, is left in the care of the biggest stars of the contemporary opera sky: Angela Geeorghiu and Anna Netrebko, two opera stars of our days, which will take turn at playing the role of Mimi. Piotr Beczela and the Italian Vittorio Grigolo, two budding tenors, but well known to the public, who loves opera, play the role of Rodolfo, a penniless poet. At the end of October we want to point out the first plays of Sigfried, third episode of Wagner’s trilogy that will be ended in 2013 with Twilight of the Gods , which is absorbing all the workers of the theatre as well as its musical conductor, Daniel Baremboim.

ROYAL OPERA HOUSE – COVENT GARDEN The chosen theatre for the Wagner’s lovers cannot be other than Covent Garden in London in this early beginning of autumn. The musical conductor sir Antonio Pappano offers in few days the performance of the whole trilogy, a very demanding plan ,which has been proposed in several theatres (Paris, Milan, New York), considering the oncoming Wagner celebrations in 2013 ( it is the bicentenary of his birth). The direction is by Keith Warner, while among the performers it should be mentioned Wotan by Welsh Bryn Terfel. In October the ballet lovers would have the opportunity watch a play of “Swan lake “ according to Marius Petipa’s version, a great classic that disappoints neither the enthusiasts nor the beginners of the so called “cultured” musical theatre.

OPERA NATIONAL DE PARIS There are three titles for the opening of the most important theatre in Paris: the new season starts with a revival of Offenbach’s Les contes d’Hoffmann, a real musical and theatrical masterpiece, which tells the love adventures of a poet in an air between dream and reality. The performance is very famous (and beautiful) signed by Robert Carsen. It follows another well known direction: Giorgio Strehler with Le Nozze di Figaro . This Mozart’s masterpiece is played by an expert cast of, among which: Luca Pisaroni, Emma Bell and Alex Esposito. At the end starts off in Paris La Fille du Regiment by Gaetano Doninzetti, in a funny staging of Wiener Staatsoper by Laurent Pelly. Two leading stars of bel canto: the soprano Natalie Dessay and the tenor Juan Diego Florez. For sure the tickets will be easily sold out, therefore the reservations should be made quickly.

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THE METROPOLITAN OPERA OF NEW YORK CITY

If on the 24th of September you are in New York, you should not miss the Opening Night Gala of Metropolitan Opera, the inauguration of the new and very rich season of the main American theatre. It is a social as well as musical event. The opening work of the 2012-2013 season is Elisir d’amore by Gaetano Doninzetti, which we listen to with great pleasure. The star Anna Netrebko plays the role of Adina, the tenor Matthew Polenzani of the naïve Nemorino and the funny baritone Ambrogio Maestri palys the role of the swindling Ducamara . The new play of Bartlett Sher will be conducted by Maurizio Benini. The season continues with Carmen, Turandot, Trovatore, a continuous sequence of masterpieces performed by contemporary important and famous voices, in the best tradition of the American theatre.

staged by Reinaldo Censabella and with Sergio Renan’s conduction.

TEATRO MUNICIPAL DE SANTIAGO After an absence of two decades, comes back to Municipal Attila by Giuseppe Verdi, a work that has been considered wrongly a minor work of the Italian Maestro, but as a matter of fact is a real musical masterpiece, in which without interruption come in succession beautiful melodies and chorus. The initiative to perform Attila is even more valuable considering the beautiful cast that has been asked to play this work : Liudmyla Monastryrska, one of most appreciated soprano in the Verd’s repertoire, embodies the heroine Odabella, while the bass Steffan Kocan plays the role of Attila and the baritone Vitaliy Biyy plays the role of Ezio.

TEATRO COLON DE BUENOS AIRES From the 25th to 7th October for six repeats goes on stage La Cenerentola by Gioachino Rossini, one of the most loved comic opera of this important composer. The artistic programming of Colon is always amazing, for the capacity to mix big names of the music (t is not long ago that the curtain dropped triumphantly over I due Figaro by Saverio Mercadante and staged by Riccardo Muti) with those of young artists, but always in the name of highest musical quality. Serena Malfi, Kenneth Tarver, Carlo Lepore are three of the main interpreters that will give life to this play,

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BAYERISCHE STAATSOPER â&#x20AC;&#x201C; MUNICH

Germany and Italy, in music, are completely complementary, at least is what it seems considering the Munich opera run of the next two months: the Bayerisches Staatsorchester staged by Kent Nagano, first tests itself with Tannhaeuser by Wagner, (Robert Dean Smith in the role of Tannhaeuser, Anne Schwanewilms in the role of Elisabeth and the big star Waltraud Meier plays the role of Venus). Then it carries on with Fidelio, the only work written by Beethoven, conducted by Eivind Gullberg Jensen and directed by the unconventional Calixto Bieito (we bring to your attention Lenore played by the soprano Anja Kampe). Then it is the time of Puccini and the Roman airs with of Tosca. The conductor is Carlo Montanaro, the beautiful Tatiana Serjan plays the role of Tosca and the tenor Jonas Kaufmann in the role of Mario Cavaradossi. The play is that quite contested by the director Luc Bondy ( and it has been already seen at the theatre Scala in Milan and at the Metropolitan in New York, by which it has been coproduced).

playing of the impressive symphonic-choral poem is matched with the showing of the film with the same name by Sergei Eisentein for whom the same music was written by the Russian composer. Among the many symphonic appointments in October we would like to point out, for the beauty and for the rarity of the suggested program, the one on the 19th : Four sea Interludes from Peter Grimes by Bejamin Britten that comes before the Concerto per violino in re minore by Erich Korngold and The Isle of Dead by Rachmaninov.

@ Francesco Colucci

THEATRO MUNICIPAL DO RIO DE JANEIRO As usual the Rio de Janeiro programming is rich and eclectic, moving from the opera, ballet and symphonic music. September and October are two months full of appointments, We will mention only some of them so as to be concise. From 20th September on Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni will be performed, transporting the atmospheres of Sicily Eastern in the capital of carioca, on the 28 and 30 Alexander Nevsky by Prokovev will be performed. The

Opera

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INTERNATIONAL

GSC SUMMIT 2012 INFRASTRUCTURE PRIVATE EQUITY REAL ESTATE SHIPPING ASSET MANAGEMENT ADVISOR FUND POWER SUSTAINABILITY OF FINANCE

20/10/2012

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